Technology is now an integral part of education. Teachers' and students' laptops, tablets, smart boards, media players, printers, speakers and cameras are among the technological devices in schools. Since a significant number of these devices are connected to a network, students can connect to web pages, different collaborative software programs and other applications using these devices.
Cybersecurity company ESET has looked at how kids using technology in their classrooms can stay safe. He shared his suggestions about the applications that can be used to ensure the safety of children online and what should be considered.
Laptops, tablets and smartphones
The most common devices used for digital learning in classrooms are laptops, tablets and smartphones. For school-issued devices, ensure that the institution has a security policy used to monitor access and control content. In addition, look for answers to these questions:
- How much time do students spend in front of a screen in class?
- Are students allowed to use their own devices while at school to access the Internet, communicate with others, or even participate in classroom activities?
- Are children allowed to bring devices home?
The answers to these questions determine how extensive steps you need to take to secure these devices. On personal devices such as smartphones, it may be helpful to set up a mobile device security solution to closely monitor the child's device use at school and outside.
learning management systems
Students and teachers use learning management systems to upload and access documents, schedule homework, grade assignments, and more. Most of these tools are considered quite safe as there are no ads or spam and safe access. However, parents should take into account that when platforms like Google Classroom are used, these platforms are tricky message boards to manage.
An email is a tool
Many messaging and email communications take place in controlled environments. However, it is not unusual for children to have their own email addresses and use them to communicate with teachers and other students. First, you should educate your child about security best practices and email threats. Phishing theft remains one of the biggest threats to email security. Sharing passwords, personal information, and even sensitive media files like photos are among the common email security vulnerabilities. Many children do not know that they should not open suspicious or unknown files. Talk to them about these issues and encourage them to think twice or consult you before clicking on anything or sharing information via email.
Another option for parents is to set up their children's email accounts. Beyond common providers like Gmail, it's worth checking out email providers that provide a few more layers of integrated protection for kids.
Video, collaboration and social learning
During the epidemic, video conferencing solutions such as Zoom were used to conduct distance education. In some cases, Zoom has become the classroom itself. Now, children continue their lessons, sometimes completely face-to-face, sometimes remotely, and sometimes with methods where both applications are used together. In many collaboration and social learning platforms, video is one of the ways students share their work, give feedback and even send messages.
Two primary concerns with video, collaboration, and social learning platforms are access and management. Controlling access to these platforms should be a priority. For example, although Zoom classes are password protected, they are not exempt from things like a Zoom raid. It is also difficult to manage what is shared, said or sent on these platforms. We recommend finding solutions that offer powerful features to use to manage student interactions, as well as safeguards regarding access and sharing.
Finally, parents can rely on built-in security solutions to ensure their kids stay safe on their devices. Many schools already secure their own devices, including the ones they give to their students. However, parents can add another layer of protection to the personal devices students use to connect to the internet at home.